Tuesday, October 31, 2006

On Halloween, it's OK to "Do it Scared!"

In our last post, we reviewed tips to help you prepare for your year-end review. Now, you can learn how to raise important issues with your colleagues or ask for feedback from your manager.

On this "tricky" day, why not TREAT yourself to tips on how to take risks and have difficult conversations at work -- even if it's a bit scary at first. How can you do it?

Tune into our NEW podcast channel on Gcast! The first podcast called Do it Scared! has practical ideas on how to prepare for and conduct courageous conversations. Tune in and then let me know what topics you'd like to hear more about.

Don't forget to subcribe so you can get regular updates on future career podcasts that you can listen to on your PC or download to your iPod.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ready for Your Year-End Review?

Now that fall is in full swing, are you ready for your year-end performance review? If done well, these review meetings can help foster your career growth. How prepared you are to have the performance discussion with your manager will be a significant predictor of the outcome. Will you be able to:
  1. Reference specific accomplishments and contributions you made to the organization this year?
  2. Suggest relevant developmental opportunities (coaching, training, or mentoring) to build on your strengths?
  3. Recommend ways to expand your role or take on new responsibilities in 2007?

Where would you like to be in your career this time next year?

Tell us some of the strategies you'll use to get ahead in 2007. Take our Career Goals survey.

In the meantime, PLAN AHEAD! Create your roadmap and equip yourself with the skills to get there!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Has Vayner Ruined E-Portfolios as a Job Search Strategy?

There has been much buzz about a recent "presumed-failure" in job search strategies: A Yale senior, Aleksey Vayner, sent an email with a 7-minute video describing some of his attributes and investment-banking career aspirations to UBS. Somehow, the video became part of the public domain and eventually aired on You Tube.

Since we've had recent posts on career portfolios, I thought I'd continue the thread.
What role can electronic portfolios play in your career management strategy?

Electronic portfolios use interactive multimedia to increase the range and type of materials that can be included in a portfolio. They enable you to take full advantage of advanced technology and utilize graphics, animation, sound and video.

Forbes has all but relegated Vayner to its Career Hall of Shame. I've reviewed the video excerpt -- aside from the somewhat suggestive dancing scenes, is there any value in his creativity? You can probably bet that no other aspiring I-bankers created a similar montage.

However, there is one definite downside to his approach -- it doesn't appear as if Vayner really KNEW HIS TARGET INDUSTRY. Given the traditionally-conservative nature of investment banking, the less likely it is that the video would have been seen as a viable introduction to his capabilities.

While electronic portfolios can be valuable tools to help you stand out from the crowd, you have to know how receptive your audience will be to this career management tool. What do you think?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Women: Let's Empower Each Other on November 4

I'm excited to announce that I've been invited to speak at the Women of Color Leadership Conference sponsored by the Rho Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The event will be held on Saturday, November 4, 2006 at New Jersey City University.

WCLC endeavors to empower women of color by providing a forum in which they can obtain knowledge to develop leadership skills and enhance professional growth. Workshops will include:
  1. Changing Directions of Your Career: Uncover the Explorer in You! (from my Competent Advantage TM series)
  2. So Now You're a Leader: A Guide to Policy Making and Event Planning for the Young Leader: Arika Easley, Stevens Institute of Technology; Dara Govan, Esq.
  3. Making a Dollar out of Fifteen Cents: An Introduction to Investing: Candice Beaty, Northwestern Mutual

If you are in the New York metro area, DON'T MISS YOUR CHANCE -- REGISTER NOW! Your $30 investment includes access to sessions and admission to the Closing Reception.

Contact: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Rho Kappa Omega Chapter

Phone: (201) 344-9225 Email: aka_pkq@yahoo.com

Address: P.O. Box 15537, Jersey City, NJ 07305

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Does Your Career Portfolio Match Your Shoes?

Now that fall semester and campus recruiting are in full swing, I thought we'd continue our conversation on career portfolios. OK, I was KIDDING with the title for this post. In our last post, we confirmed that we're NOT talking about fashion accessories! (just checking to see if you're paying attention)

A career portfolio is:
  • a reflection of your professional self
  • a record of your professional (or academic) development
  • tangible evidence of your "on-the-job" (or "in-the-classroom") performance

With that said, what do you think you should include in your career portfolio? Many career portfolios include:

  • Resume or CV
  • Licenses or Certifications
  • Letters of reference
  • Transcripts or diplomas
  • Professional affiliation documentation
  • Work samples (e.g., reports, presentations, etc.) With samples, it is important that you eliminate information that could be considered confidential.

The exercise of creating your career portfolio can help you to critically examine your life experiences and accomplishments. If you are preparing for an interview (or a performance appraisal meeting with your manager), the process enables you to highlight specific accomplishments and identify valuable workplace skills.

As usual, tell me about your experiences and thoughts. Soon, we'll discuss tips for organizing your career portfolio.